1972 – Muhammad Ali promotes Ireland.

Impossible is not a fact. –Muhammad Ali

Killorglin-born circus strongman and publican, Michael “Butty” Sugrue, put up £300,000 and persuaded Muhammad Ali to make his first visit to Ireland to fight against Alvin Lewis in Croke Park on 19 July 1972.

Ali went to Ireland with an entourage on 11 July 1972 to spend time training for the fight. While there, he was interviewed for RTÉ Television by Cathal O’Shannon and was taught the rudiments of hurling by Eddie Keher.

Ali won the Lewis fight with a technical knockout in the 11th round, and Sugrue lost a lot of money bankrolling it.

The Irish Tourist Board pulls off a major coup getting Muhammad Ali to promote Ireland.

Ali returned to Ireland in 2009 and he visited the birthplace of his great grandfather, Abe Grady, in Ennis, where he was made an Honorary Freeman of the town.

Muhammad Ali in Ireland, 1972: http://youtu.be/2T8jr8WQC8I

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Stair na hÉireann is steeped in Ireland's turbulent history, culture, ancient secrets and thousands of places that link us to our past and the present. With insight to folklore, literature, art, and music, you’ll experience an irresistible tour through the remarkable Emerald Isle.

2 thoughts on “1972 – Muhammad Ali promotes Ireland.

  1. Ali and hurling. What an incredible image. No one can say that he missed his calling if life, but who knows what could have happened…this made my day.

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